Should Children Use YouTube?

Child Safely Watching Lego Videos
Child Safely Watching Lego Videos

Should Children Use YouTube?

I promise I don’t just write about children, but being surrounded by two little six-year-olds every day makes it hard to think about other things. As I write my two little brothers are sitting in the living room on the Xbox watching YouTube. They’re smart kids but they don’t understand what YouTube really is, besides something they can use to watch Minecraft videos. To them YouTube is only available on the television and all the content on there is appropriate for their viewing. With us older people understanding what is allowed to be posted on YouTube, and darker corners of the internet, it begs the question; Should children be allowed to use YouTube?

YouTube Censors

YouTube automatically age-gates videos that the community finds offensive, but these are often videos related to sex or an obscene amount of blood and gore but truthfully (granted I’m only an older brother, but I believe my parents would believe the same as me) I’d rather have them exposed to that then exposed to swear words that they simply don’t understand. Yes, sex is hard to explain to children but we live in a society where nearly everything is influenced by sex, if you teach them early (six is too early, but still) nothing bad can happen. Same with violence, we can teach children that violence isn’t real and that what they aren’t watching isn’t real. However with bad language it’s difficult to make children understand that they shouldn’t use it. They don’t understand social standards well enough to understand when it is ok and isn’t ok to swear as well as they don’t understand the weight certain words carry. I remember vividly being 12 years old telling my mom she was a “b*stard” after she wouldn’t give me a sip of her drink. I first heard the word a few hours earlier from my British friend who called me it after I dunked his head underwater in the swimming pool. I don’t know what my brain was thinking, but the word wasn’t some bad word to me, it was just a funny sounding word that is now part of my vast vocabulary.

YouTube Age-Restriction System
YouTube Age-Restriction System

So Whats The Point?

I guess it doesn’t matter if we have a bunch of young kids swearing, maybe it’ll be the start of an evolution where swearing no longer holds value in society. But another thing that concerns me of YouTube is that it is an open platform for sharing and promotes viewers to share videos and comments with the people creating content. My little brothers don’t understand what a “comment” is, but gosh do they want to make one. They even film Lego construction with their tablets (yes, six-year olds have tablets now) and want to upload them up to YouTube. The problem with this is that is establishing a connection to a vast social media site where they could be influenced by a lot more than just swear words. Majority of parents wouldn’t let their child have a Twitter account, Facebook account, Tumbler. People forget that YouTube is a social media site, it isn’t online TV. And as long as children aren’t able to understand the internet and the content within it they shouldn’t be allowed to be using sites such as YouTube.

Kid Friendly YouTube Channels

The Answer

I'm not going to outright say if I believe kids should use YouTube, as I believe it is up to the parents of the child to make that decision. But I believe the parents should know exactly what they are allowing their child to do and set strict boundaries that the child respects.

An example:

One of my brothers just punched the other one because he wants to watch something, and now the kid who punched is crying because “we never watch that video”. If this still is able to happen then I heavily believe these children should not be using YouTube or any part of the internet.

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Do Your Children Use YouTube (Or Would You Let Your Child Use YouTube)?

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2 comments

peachpurple profile image

peachpurple 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

depends on what the are watching. But then, there are pornographics videos they may stumble, so we must watch with kids


daborn7 profile image

daborn7 2 years ago from California

Kids are curious in nature. Therefore, they will want to watch whatever they come across, good or bad. I let my kids watch Youtube videos, but I keep a close eye on them. A little g-rated adult content is OK, because I don't want them too protected, but no porno, graphic death, etc.

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